40 Something Molly

4 Jul

I’m 42…..some days I feel like a young 42 while other days I feel like there is a huge gulf between who I was 20 years ago (yes, I’m talking 1991) and who I am now.  I think one of the reasons I feel so far removed from 22 year old Molly is the fact that I had very few responsibilities way back when compared to now.  I’m also old enough to potentially be a twenty-something’s mother so when I meet one I am very aware that we are from different generations.  Things have changed in twenty years and it’s not just the extra smile lines I have!


The US invades Iraq.  Later on this will be called the 1st Iraq War.

The lead singer of Queen, Freddy Mercury dies of AIDS.

The average cost of gasoline was $1.12.

I was listening to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Nina Simone and Tom Waits.

Clarance Thomas confirmation hearings were going on.  The following year I got to hear Anita Hill talk about sexual harassment in the workplace.

William Kennedy Smith went on trial for rape.  Immediately after he was found not-guilty he came to medical school at my university.

Rosanne was one of the most popular TV shows.

20 Something Molly:

  1.  I didn’t have a personal computer (although my brother and Michael both did).  I got my first personal computer when I was 32 (Thanks Dad!).
  2. I didn’t have a cell phone.  They were around but they were those large bricks that only the privileged few carried around.  It cost around $1/minute to talk on one!  I had this one friend that would call me from her cell phone and I would hang up on her as soon as I realized she had called me from her cell.  I got my first cell phone when I was 30.

    In 1992 my boss had a cell phone just like this one...

  3. I didn’t have a credit card.  I got my first one when I was 27.  It had a $500 credit limit.  I followed it up with a credit card from Sears.  My first husband loved Sears.  We always paid the balance off on both cards every month.  There might have been an exception here or there but it was rare.
  4. Cars were cheap!  I had a hand-me-down 76′ Cadillac Sedan de Ville from my parents (which was handed down to them from my grandparents) it eventually died on the side of the road.I then purchased a Dodge Omni for $150.  I’m sure my Dad was freaked out every time he heard that I was taking another trip out to CA in my Dodge Omni.  At one point I lost 5th gear just as I was driving into Flagstaff…..it was fine I didn’t need 5th gear anyways! After a couple of years the Omni died too.My first husband bought me a lowrider truck instead of an engagement ring.   While we were married we purchased a Jeep Cherokee for $7000.  My first step into real debt.  When we divorced I told him to take the lowrider and drive into the sunset.

    Ahh...The Omni!

  5. CD’s were just becoming affordable.  I mostly owned record albums.
  6. No health insurance.  I didn’t get any of that until I was 30.  If I got sick I paid for it out of pocket.  When I was really sick I went to the county hospital and paid sliding scale.

So how did I manage to get through most of my twenties?  Pretty damn well!  The only overhead I had was rent, a few utility bills and car insurance (although each of those were hit or miss from time to time!).

I put my drive to be “responsible” on my kids.  Suddenly not getting dinner on the table equated to being a mom who didn’t care about the welfare of her babies.  Not caring about my own welfare was perfectly acceptable, not OK for the kids!  Cleaning up, driving safe, being dependable became the model of who I was trying to be.

There were trying times in my 20’s.  Lots of crying over boys/men who would come and go (and then come back again).  Marriage/divorce.  I’m sure my life  would have been less stressful if I had had a steady job, some savings and a little stability but the flip side of it was that because I had little overhead I didn’t have to spend a lot of energy trying to come up with cash.  Just lots of time for drama!

In my thirties I expanded everything.  Money, cars, computers, a mortgage….   it all exploded.  In the end it wasn’t who I was.  I realized that I don’t like a lot of overhead.  I like having fewer responsibilities.  In my forties I’ve been paring back down to the essentials (although it is a work in progress).  With the exception of the man drama I think I’m closer to my twenty year old self than I first thought!

Are there things you just can’t imagine living without; can’t imaging how the world kept spinning without?

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32 Responses to “40 Something Molly”

  1. Meg July 4, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    I had to laugh with this post. I loved (and still do!) Nirvana.
    I am 30, but oh, way back when. My first car at the age of 16 was a ’79 Ford LTD. The car was older than I was. It was $0.99/gallon at the time (in 1997) and my mom flipped because she’s never paid $20 for a tank of gas! 🙂 Oh, the memories.

    Great post. Even better is the paring down.
    We paid off all of our consumer debt (except the mortgage) just 2 1/2 weeks ago. It feels good, and now, we are working to live a simpler, more fulfilling life.

    • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      I think gas was expensive that year because of the Iraq war. I remember spending less than a dollar a gallon for most of my years in college. My Cadillac go 9 mile to the gallon (I’m sure the LTD wasn’t much better 🙂 ) so I rode my 3 speed chrome bike most places.

  2. Natalie July 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Nice stroll through memory lane Mol. I think paring down is a serious commitment. I can’t say I am anywhere near your level of “living simply enlightenment” although I have fantasies about it. Good for you and your family for livin’ the dream.

    • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 7:57 am #

      You’re not giving yourself enough credit. I have sheds full of crap- you have a beautiful pared down home with the essentials and not all the ‘stuff’.

  3. krusty505 July 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I lived with Molly while she was in her 20’s. I personally don’t remember much boy drama. In fact, I think I was the one with the drama:) Girl drama. I do remember the Cadillac, the Omni, and the Jeep. I also remember a green couch that we scored from Living Batch Bookstore, calculating bills by hand, cinder block bookshelves, a bed frame made out of pallets that we stole from behind ghetto Smith’s, bunny ear antennas on the TV, Star Trek the Next Generation night (NO ONE WAS ALLOWED TO TALK FOR FEAR OF MOLLY’S WRATH), and going to the old gym on UNM’s campus where Molly and her sister Lise danced; there were trees there and a dirt road/lot that is now a fountain with new buildings, no trees and no gym. Ah those were the days.

    • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 7:42 am #

      You don’t remember the boy (whose name starts with ‘R’- who occasionally reads this blog) breaking up with me every few months?! And let’s not forget he would go off and date someone I knew!! The girl drama was thick in our house, let’s just say you were distracted……

    • Debbie M July 5, 2011 at 8:09 am #

      We had Star Trek on the Lawn during TNG days–my friends brought their TV outside and we watched from the picnic table. Near the beginning we didn’t like Riker. Whenever he would get punched in the face, we would make our hosts replay that in slow motion.

      • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

        Riker sucked! Star Trek and Capt. Picard RULE!!!!

  4. Practical Parsimony July 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    When I was 22 in 1968, I had a child. In 1970 when I was 24, I had my second child. The third was born in 1975. The first two are living some of your memories. Computer? I did get one in 1993. I never got a car until our second was three years old in 1973. Ex had the car all the time before that, and I had to beg to use it. Bills? We had few. When my oldest was a few months old, I was stunned by the reality that for the rest of my life I would be getting up by 6:30 am and would never get a decent night’s sleep or a nap ever ever ever again. Then, when I finally got to the point in life I could take a nap, I did not want a nap. Bummer. I cannot imagine the world without my children or computers. My children are grown with children of their own. The computer takes up too much of my time. I was always responsible!

    Oh, I remember the bricks. A girl in linguistics stood up as soon as the prof stopped talking and dialed someone, talking very loud. Most of us were still seated, so she had an audience. I could not stand her anyway, so this did not help…lol.

    • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 7:49 am #

      That was probably my friend in your linguistics class calling me 😆

  5. Niki July 5, 2011 at 6:06 am #

    My family didn’t get a computer until I was a junior in high school, which was 1999. At the same time a worked at BlockBuster and we were just making the slow switch to DVDs.

    I also didn’t get a cell phone until a couple years ago, when my daughters’ went to kindergarten, in case I wasn’t home.

    I will be going into my thirties this year and am very excited to be consumer debt free. I hope to really enjoy them (my thirties)

    • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 7:53 am #

      Enjoy your 30’s! I insist! I’m still trying to adjust being in my 40’s. I feel I’m wasting my time whining about how my skin doesn’t look as fabulous rather than enjoying the time (and I’m consumer debt free! I have no excuse to be whiny).

      • Debbie M July 5, 2011 at 8:12 am #

        Enjoy your forties! A friend’s grandfather had a phrase he used that I really liked: “When I was a young man of 70…” At age 70 he could still do everything. By age 80, not so much. You’re still young!

      • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

        I never thought I was vain until I turned 40. I know I’ll look back and chide myself for how much time I wasted thinking about my (chin) waddle getting more pronounced!

  6. Mutant Supermodel July 5, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Happy Birthday Molly!! Or did that pass and I’m drawing a blank?

    I like your reflections. Gives me hope. We all change.

    • Molly On Money July 5, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

      No birthday yet just been thinkin’ about it! It does get better…especially with the ex’s!

  7. squirrelers July 5, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Ah, memory lane…

    I recently turned 40. Seems like 20 was just yesterday. My initial thought would be that I’m the same guy I was then. Then, after a few seconds, I realize how much significant responsibilty I have in life these days and how much life experience has taught me. Wow, was I happily unaware of things back then. It would be great to have today’s wisdom and be able to relive being 20. But, that’s impossible….

    What’s freaky is thinking that 50 is the next milestone. That’s what reaffirms that every day going forward is a gift to enjoy.

    I think that once we strip out all the burdens of daily repsonsibilities, at the core we’re effectively improved, wiser versions of ourselves at 20! That’s my positive outlook on it.

    • Molly On Money July 6, 2011 at 6:24 am #

      OMG- you hit the nail on the head! Now I just need to strip away some of that neurosis I picked up in my 30’s 🙂

  8. 101 Centavos July 6, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    In a couple of years, I’ll look back on my forties with fondness. My twenties were mostly spent working through college, with lots of fun and poverty and girl drama along the way. Star Trek New Generation rocked, and although there’s 101 reasons why Kirk was more awesomer than Picard, Capt Picard is still 100 times better than Numbah One.

    • Molly On Money July 6, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      We were lucky because on Sunday nights right after ‘The Next Generation’ the original Star Trek came on. I love both Kirk and Picard so much I can’t even compare the two!

      • 101 Centavos July 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

        Ah, but you must, you must….

        Reason #93: Kirk would date Beverly Crusher — and damn the consequences!!
        Reason #46: Picard’s middle name isn’t tough or awe-inspiring like Tiberius is.
        Reason #31: One Word: Fisticuffs.
        Reason # 22: The Klingons didn’t have a word for surrender — until they met Kirk.
        Reason #16. Kirk specifically ordered a swivel LA-Z-BOY for the bridge.
        Reason #6: Three Words: Flying Leg Kick

        You get the picture 🙂

      • Molly On Money July 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

        I hate to burst your bubble but I never did like Beverly….Sure she was a hot redhead (ahem…) but I always felt he could do better. Just sayin’.

      • 101 Centavos July 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

        We should probably modify #93: Kirk would date Beverly Crusher *and* Deanna Troi – and damn the consequences!

        (Troi was the hotter of the two)

      • Molly On Money July 14, 2011 at 5:42 am #

        Now we’re talking and yes, I totally agree!

  9. Kellen July 7, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    I hope I don’t look back on my 20’s and think “gee how I wasted my time working and being responsible…” But then, maybe I can spend my 40’s being irresponsible?? I like your idea of cutting back to the essentials. I’m more flexible than I realize right now.

    • Molly On Money July 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

      I wouldn’t change a thing. I have some childhood friends that became mom’s young. Now that their kids are grown and out of the house I’m waiting for them to let loose and get a little craZy!

  10. Dmarie July 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    I’m trying myself to cut back to essentials, but it’s a painful process! MUCH more difficult than choosing between Kirk and Picard! 😉

  11. First Gen American July 10, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    I had a little Nissan Pulsar in 1991. It was also the year I graduated high school. I had very little in the way of belongings besides my car (which I LOVED) and my thrift store clothing. I felt like I was in limbo forever though. Like, life wouldn’t start until I finished college, so the working and going to school thing felt like a type of purgatory I had to go through til real life began. It’s good to now realize that life’s been there all along and it’s passing me by. Much better to live for the present while conscientiously doing small things for a better future.

    • Molly On Money July 14, 2011 at 5:49 am #

      It’s a great thought- I spent so much time furiously pushing time along impatiently when I was young.

  12. growingmygirls July 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Loving this, loving this!! Tempted to just talk about TNG. I’m another one who just loved and still loves Picard and think the show was one of the most thought-provoking shows in television about ideals, morals and where the world might go. And when the Borg entered the picture, the whole thing went into the stratosphere. Resistance was futile!

    I’m 52 and when I was 22, I still had my ideals intact and was still trying to live them. I’m not saying I abandoned them, but as you get older, then some of the choices you thought you’d always have fall away. I found that all pretty hard. The call I’m feeling now for my 50s is to meld the two — keep my heart alive with my ideals but stay rooted in the practical.

    • Molly On Money July 14, 2011 at 5:54 am #

      It’s also funny for me how being practical isn’t all that difficult to do after being so impulsive. I do believe it’s a balance of the two that keeps me happy.
      If I had know there was such a NG fan base still around I would have been writing about it sooner. It’s funny that Chris (my roommate from my 20’s) totally associates me with Star Trek- it was such a big part of our lives!

      • growingmygirls July 14, 2011 at 9:50 am #

        Could talk all day about TNG. Also a big fan of Deep Space 9 and less so of Voyager. Every now and then Rick and I just go through the whole seven years of one to take us through, say, the winter. He’s going through the original series right now.
        Being practical is required — it’s more that living in the world and feeling abundant for me still can ride roughshod over some ideals. You and Michael are inspiring in how you put things together. 😉

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